Five people die through road traffic accidents in Zimbabwe every day while the country loses US$406 million per year to the carnage, Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Felix Mhona has said.
Mhona said this while announcing the closure of Mbudzi round about in Harare to pave way for the construction of a more modern traffic interchange intersection.
“In Zimbabwe, the average number of crashes per year between 2010 and 2021 was 40 180 and the average number of people dying as a result of road crashes was 1 858 per year.
“Put differently, five people die every day on the roads in Zimbabwe and this translates to 153 persons killed per month.
“The country loses about US$406 million annually from an average forty thousand road traffic crashes every year, and this is estimated to be nearly 3% of GDP,” Mhona said.
Globally, added the minister, 1.35 million people are killed annually from an average 3 700 people who lose their lives through the misfortunes daily.
The road crashes involve cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.
“More than half of those killed are pedestrians, motorcyclists, or cyclists.
“Currently, cyclists and pedestrians make up 43% of road traffic fatalities in Africa.
“As motorcycles have become more popular as a relatively affordable means of transport, motorcycle fatalities are also on the rise.
“Crash injuries are estimated to be the eighth leading cause of death globally for all age groups, and the leading cause of death for children and young people,” he said.
According to police statistics, 2 480 pedestrians were killed in hit-and-run accidents by motorists.
The number of motorists who hit pedestrians or other vehicles on the roads and sped off without stopping to render assistance is now on the increase with police recording about 2 500 hit-and-run accidents in the first half of 2022, which saw the country lose 984 lives on the roads.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in total, 102 road traffic accidents were recorded this year compared to 157 recorded during the 2021 Heroes and Defence Forces Holidays.
“We are worried about an increase in hit-and-run road traffic accidents that are occurring countrywide,” Nyathi said.
In the first half of the year, 984 people were killed while 5 103 others were injured in 25 309 road traffic accidents recorded, 759 of them fatal, between January and June this year.
During the same period last year, 867 people died while 3 410 were injured in 20 679 road accidents recorded.
Police blame accidents on speeding, inattention, misjudgement, reversing and overtaking errors.